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“All Things Boat” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107 (Ballard)
206 783 7059
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Ranked #17 of 212 attractions in Seattle
Type: Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Wharfs/ Piers/ Boardwalks, Bodies of Water
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Attraction Details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (locally known as the Ballard Locks) is a waterway system that connects the saltwater of the Puget Sound to the fresh water of the Ship Canal, which sits about 20 feet above sea level.  Boats enter the locks, the gates close and the water rises or falls to the level of the destination waterway.  Watching boats pass through the locks, exploring the 7 acres of botanical gardens and looking for fish on the fish ladder is fun and free entertainment that draws locals and tourists alike.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Houston, Texas
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“All Things Boat”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2014

We watched a huge floating dock come through the lock escorted by tugs as well as pleasure boats coming through on the smaller side. The area is surrounded by a very nice botanical garden with all kinds of flowers and trees.

Visited May 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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951 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    542
    339
    65
    4
    1
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Wilson, Arkansas
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“This is the kind of adventure I enjoy!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2014

This is a unique lock; it has given ocean-going vessels access to the lake for generations now.
What a perfect harbor!!
The salmon ladder was cool; way ahead of its time.
I loved seeing a sea-lion (I think that's what it was).
I suspect he was taking advantage of the salmon ladder
as a dinner table! LOL
The beauty of the vessels using the lock was amazing.
We sat for a long time in the park setting.
Was CLEAN and SAFE this past August 2013.

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Interesting place - Fish Ladder”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2014

You see the locks in action and actually walk across the top of the lock doors to get to the Salmon Ladder where you can see the salmon swin upstream past the locks and into the bay. Area is a little sketchy and there was a lot of broken auto glass in the parking lot so I would not leave anything to important in the car when you check it out.

Visited April 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
198 reviews 198 reviews
43 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Interesting and OK”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2014

A pleasant small park which is nicely landscaped and the locks are good to visit. Saw a massive barge using the lock. Probably best to go on a drier day at a time when you can see the salmon.

Would have felt a bit of a trek to go to Ballard just for this, but luckily we happened upon Dave's Bop Street record shop which must be one of the best I've ever been to - massive and well organised with friendly, knowledgeable and helpful staff. Then there was Ballard Coffee Works for a good coffee and cake just along from Bop Street.

Visited March 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
30 attraction reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
“Fun place to come see the locks”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2014

It's a slow process and probably sounds cooler than it actually looks as the whole process takes about 30 minutes for the water to fill and then drain but when the boats finally rise/lower, it's pretty quick. Nice to marvel at technology. We went in April so did not see any salmon.

Visited April 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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